Assault Frigate Changes Coming in February


First hinted at during EVE Vegas 2017, we finally have our first peek at some upcoming changes to a very underutilized group of ships. Outside of a couple well-known examples, both Assault Frigates and Heavy Assault Cruisers have languished a bit since the introduction of various ships that have filled the ecological niches they occupied. Players have been asking for buffs or changes to the class for quite some time. In this post on the official EVE forums, CCP Rise posted the first official confirmation of the changes that leaked via SISI data late last week. The meat of the changes comes in two parts, first is some stat and bonus overhauls to Assault Frigates. The second, and perhaps most exciting bit, is the new Assault Damage Control (ADC).

One of the chief complaints about Assault Frigates in the era of the Tactical Destroyer (T3D) has been their speed. Plodding might be an apt description when compared to the more flashy T3Ds. CCP is providing a massive increase of 18% to the max velocity of all Assault Frigates and a 10% reduction in mass. Combined these give the whole class a major boost to manoeuvrability which will certainly help improve the class’s ability to respond to more threats. The class is also receiving one more global buff of 30% to the capacitor reserves of each ship. With some cap hungry modules like the Microwarpdrive already bonused on the hull, this buff will help out fits that would struggle to include any sort of cap mod. It also helps the members of the class that use weapons which require capacitor.

With the class as a whole getting attention, two members are getting some new bonuses along with one being given a total makeover. The Ishkur’s current bonus of 5 m3 to Drone Bay capacity (a holdover from the pre-Bandwidth days) from the Assault Frigates skill never made sense in the modern implementation of Drones. Its being replaced by a 7.5% bonus per level to Drone tracking speed, making it quite difficult or even impossible to mitigate incoming fire from an Ishkur’s little helpers. The drone bay is being increased to a flat 50 m3. The Retribution is getting brought in line with its cruiser counterpart, with the bonus of 7.5% per level to Small Energy Turret tracking getting replaced by a 5% per lever rate of fire bonus. Combined with the damage bonus, this gives the Retribution the highest effective turret count of all the Assault Frigates enabling it to dish out some serious pain. The Jaguar is undergoing the largest change. Like its counterpart the Wolf, the Jaguar is currently bonused for Small Projectile weapons. CCP have decided to change the Jaguar into a missile platform, citing the popularity of the Breacher and wanting to provide an advancement path for pilots of the powerful T1 hull. To make this happen, its attributes are being totally overhauled.

CCP's February patch will include a rebalance of Assault Frigates

The new stats for the Jaguar Assault Frigate


While some might worry about the Jaguar butting in on the space occupied by the Hawk, an expert in the use of missile ships does not share that concern. When changes first leaked on r/eve, Sultonia had the following to say.

The DPS is low, 5 effective launchers VS Hawks 5.333 effective launchers without kinetic. But Jaguar has +1 low, better fittings, faster, lower sig, better application, more uniform resists and more flexibility over the Hawk.

Wait and see but I don’t think it’s going to be as bad as you think. [Full Post Link]

While the stats might not be final, it seems there is going to be a clear capability difference between the Jaguar and Hawk to give both a place to thrive.

These changes are coupled with the introduction of a new module, the Assault Damage Control. Limited in use to Assault Frigates and Heavy Assault Cruisers, this module opens up some exciting possibilities for all sorts of fits. Much like a standard Damage Control, the Assault Damage Control provides a small passive bonus to resists across shields, armor, and hull. These are less than the standard Damage Control, but the Assault Damage Control has a trick up its sleeve. When activated, the resist bonus spikes to the insane level of 75% across the board. During the active timer (13s for the T1 and Meta variants, 15s for T2, 16s for Faction), it is going to be very difficult to kill an Assault Damage Control equipped ship. But don’t worry, the modules all have a 150s reactivation delay so the ships will not be invincible forever. This module looks to be quite the fun option to play with for both Assault Frigates and Heavy Assault Cruisers across all sorts of PvP opportunities.

What’s missing from this update is any changes to Heavy Assault Cruisers outside of the addition of the Assault Damage Control. Rise stated that this was a function of both available time and a desire to see what effects the Assault Damage Control has on the class as a whole. All the changes coming so far should give PYFA warriors like myself plenty of theorycrafting to do in the meantime. These changes are slated for the February update, which is expected on Feb 13. The features discussed are listed under Winter on along with the Upwell 2.0 changes detailed here.

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  • Vertigoe

    Try fitting a jaguar. They changed it from guns to missiles without giving anymore fitting. It is next to impossible to get a decent fit, buffer is definitely a no go, same with dual ancillary. And using the utility high forget it unless you compact everything and put an MAPC in the low and a nanofiber.

    January 30, 2018 at 6:24 PM
  • Yes, let’s buff more tiny ships, because what this game needs is a wider variety of small/fast/maneuverable/tanky/DPSy hulls…

    At this rate, by the time they get around to “balancing” HACs, you’re gonna need Vagas that go 7km/s and fit bosons.

    Assfrigs aren’t competitive with T3Ds because T3Ds are majorly-overpowered garbage. Why don’t they delete T3Ds instead of going through and power-creeping everything around them?

    January 30, 2018 at 8:00 PM
    • Daito Endashi Ganthrithor

      The alternative would be to nerf other ships, for example T3Ds. The players sure are very good at making nerfs a real pain for the devs.

      January 30, 2018 at 8:02 PM
      • I’d axe the shit out of T3Ds. They were a horrific design decision in the first place, as demonstrated by their current ubiquity. Like I wouldn’t even attempt to re-balance them– I’d just remove them and refund the owners or do a clean-sheet re-design.

        January 30, 2018 at 8:04 PM
        • Daito Endashi Ganthrithor

          The shitstorm would be hefty

          January 30, 2018 at 8:21 PM
  • Freelancer117

    Tyvm for that dedicated balance team CCP, that gives a 30% cap increase across the board for AF’s

    /me slow claps

    Oh my and that oh so inspiring new module the forums said for Months it’s unimaginative.

    In the meantime no HAC balance , no meta level items balance aka tiericide.
    And we get the same old excuses from the new upper echelon, including Seagull.

    Regards, a Freelancer.

    February 2, 2018 at 9:46 PM